The value proposition

  What’s in it for me?   In simple terms the value proposition is about putting yourself in the shoes of the person who is going to read your copy and, from their perspective, asking the question: “what’s in it for me?”   The benefits of your service, product, or proposal should stand out to your reader with eye popping clarity. The value they see...

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The GROWTH Factor in the Human Services: supporting relationship-based practice

Did you see the 2016 film, 'I, Daniel Blake', directed by Ken Loach? It gives a poignant and highly naturalistic insight into the absence of compassion in a social services office in the north of England. Complex “Catch-22” regulations, IT systems that keep crashing, and hours spent on hold on the telephone - you begin to get the picture and understand...

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How to Evaluate a Project

Choosing the right evaluation design The world of project and program management looks neat and organised on paper, but in reality it’s often a bit of a mess. Being part of the mess is one thing, but making sense of it afterwards, and being able to answer the question ‘did it work?’ and ‘why?’ is another thing altogether.  So, how do...

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Philanthropic Grants – a view from both sides

Thousands of organisations from a wide range of sectors receive philanthropic grants each year in Australia - including the arts, environment, medical research, social welfare, disability, education and health sectors. Philanthropy is a vital part of civil society and philanthropy can go where the state and the market cannot venture. But the funds are limited, and the number of organisations...

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Explainer: What exactly is ‘evaluation’?

Evaluation is attribution.  If you have attributed value to something, you have evaluated it.   Why do it?  Because without understanding and comparing the relative value of various ‘somethings’ (innovations, strategies, new or old programs, services, organisational structures or products) it is difficult to make decisions that are likely to lead to positive outcomes.  Without knowing whether a particular innovation works, and...

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The copy writer’s toolkit

The copy writer’s toolkit Introduction: Writing to persuade Writing an article, advertisement, technical feature, business case, tender or indeed any piece intended to inform or persuade can be daunting.  We asked the professionals about what makes killer copy and came away with some tried and tested guidelines that will help you overcome the terror of the ‘blank page’. This blog marks the first...

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Conflict and the Craft of Collaborating

Collaboration has become a cliché. Organisations across the human services sector are urged to co-operate, co-ordinate and collaborate to create “joined up” and “integrated” responses to “wicked problems”. This is especially so where client populations have multiple and complex needs, such as mental illness, family violence, alcohol and other drug misuse, homelessness and child maltreatment. Exhortations to work together are a...

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Thinking ‘Fit for Purpose’

Are your ideas fit for purpose or fit to purpose?   Over the last decade I have volunteered on the board of a small arts and design organisation in Hobart, Tasmania. The organisation provides furniture designers, lighting designers, jewellery makers, ceramicists and other object designers with workshop facilities, studios and professional development opportunities. Speculative design pieces (the really exciting creative stuff they...

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Strategic Copywriting

  Let us explain what we mean by ‘strategic-copywriting’.   Picture this: you already know exactly what you want to write for an upcoming tender application, but you don’t have the time or the skilled staff at hand. Do you get a consultant in? (Bank account says ‘ouch’).   In this situation, many businesses choose the ‘DIY approach’. Executive staff or middle managers find time...

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The Money Trap

  Academics call it ‘goal displacement’.   I’ve fallen for it.  And I’ve seen so many other small businesses go down the same path. Small businesses, community organisations, NGOs and not-for-profits have all done it (and continue to).  The money trap is pervasive.   When I was an undergraduate student I worked part-time as the sole employee for a small not-for-profit organisation. It functioned a...

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